White House invites the crowd to fight patent trolls, but it won’t solve the problem


Patent trolls are a gaping wound on the innovation economy. Despite growing evidence about the trolls’ economic damage, the U.S. government is still grasping for ways to stop them, and to fix the country’s dysfunctional patent system.

On Thursday, the White House plunged forward with a new series of measures intended to curtail the troll plague that is siphoning money from productive companies while producing nothing of value. The plan is clever, relying on crowdsourcing tactics to expose trolls and bad patents. Unfortunately, it won’t kill the trolls.

Here’s an overview of the new troll-fighting tactics and what they will — and won’t — do to fix the patent problem.

Trolls and transparency

The details, set out in a fact sheet, includes an “online toolkit aimed at empowering consumers .. [that] will include information and links to services and websites.”

That toolkit will be powered in part by websites like Lex…

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Top jobs of the week in tech: Zappos.com, Threadless and more


While your next job probably won’t pay in Bitcoins, it just got one step closer to reality with the planned rollout of Bitcoin ATMs. In other news, the readers of Gigaom chose their favorite new startups for the Structure Data Awards. And until building cool things with Legos starts paying the bills, check out the weekly jobs review here:

We also have other listings from companies like Target, Microsoft, Shell Oil and more. Click here to see what else is on our job board.

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How a pomegranate inspired a new lithium ion battery design


The lithium ion battery could get a boost from the humble pomegranate. According to researchers at Stanford, including Amprius founder Yi Cui, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, clustering tiny silicon particles in a hard carbon rind — like seeds in a pomegranate — could be a helpful design breakthrough for using silicon in the next generation of lithium ion batteries.

A lithium-ion battery — the standard being used in gadgets today — is made up of three pieces: an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte that shuttles lithium-ions between the cathode and anode. That shuttling process is what happens when you charge and discharge a battery.

pomegranate battery

Scientists have long wanted to use silicon in the anode of a lithium ion battery because it can hold more energy per given volume than the traditional graphite that is commonly used — so a silicon anode battery could be smaller and…

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Mingle @ The Mix Up Bar

By Matt Lewis


After an evening of drinks, mingling and thinking I believe I’ve fully digested all the Royal Palms Resort & Spa and the Arizona Foothills Magazine (AFM) had to offer with this event.

After a vote of their peers, 21 Phoenicians were named most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. I would have to agree with most if not all of their choices, but I do know of one fascinating young woman who was “robbed” of the title, but alas I digress.

The event was very low-key and offered a wide array of folks — the 20-something crowd who is hip, hot and single; the 30’s and 40’s crowd looking for professional business contacts and everyone in between.

I met quite a few beautiful and accomplished women and would talk to as many as I could muster the courage to approach — which was about seven.

What brought me to this event you may ask? A Facebook invite and also a mutual friend was going to be there and I wanted to met them in-person because I felt they were going places in politics — something I hope to always have an ear to the ground with when it comes to being a journalist who is informed.

I must applaud the AFM for hosting such a elegant and wonderful event. There were free champagne and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a bar to get “liquid-courage.”

While in the Men’s Room, I got a question from a gentleman I met at the event. He asked if I would be writing about my experience that night. I laughed and told him “probably.” He said it was a great event to observe people in an unassuming habitat. I agreed.

It made me think of my favorite place to people watch –> the airport. If you ever get bored at the airport, just start people watching and imagine their stories and why they’re going and where they may be from and more of their story.

Thanks for listening to my rant on a mix and mingle that was designed for people just like me. Have a great day.

*** This story was updated for style errors on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 3:14 p.m. ***

#AuthorsInk is 1 #Exclusive #Inc.

Former U-N.C. Prof. Speaks about the great Authors of the American West

Staff Report

CHANDLER — Elliot Engel, a retired professor from the Raleigh, N.C. area, and about 130 or so Q-tips (retirees) – as well as some other working-class folks – took Scottsdale by storm on Wednesday night to kick-off a week-long speaker series about the great ‘Wild West’. The subjects of his many scheduled talks included the authors and individuals who wrote about and/or shaped this sometimes desolate, often picturesque landscape. The speaker series is taking place this week at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center. The reception was Wednesday night near the elegantly lit patio/pool area. White string lights adorned the trees as if to signal an extended Christmas season.There was an Hor d’Oeurves reception and a cash-bar.

Engel, who has regular ‘groupies’, does not let his minor celebrity status go to his pre-frontal cortex. He begins the reception glad-handing those in attendance and has a genuine smile and a kind word to all his supporters. His attention was equally split between those who were experiencing their first ‘rodeo’ with Engel as the keynote speaker to the staunch #TeamEngel supporters. The #GilbertGumption #E.I.C. @M.A. Lewis, his #father and his #maternal #grandparents were also among the guests.

The word savant is not tossed around lightly, especially when one literary critic refers to another (Engel); but Lewis thinks he might only be a few shades of grey from being one if he is not academically classed as one now.

Porous were the ideas flowing from this brilliant man’s mind. By the end of his first address on Geronimo, the audience was hanging on every word. He inextricably wove some of the following literary and oral devices as he began sinking his ‘speaking talons’ in the audience:

  • Jokes
  • Metaphors
  • Interesting Perspective
  • Lingustic and Oral Histories

You Don’t Need to Be a Sexter to Want a Self-Destructing Message Service


The January hack attack on Snapchat outraged its users, 4.6 million of whom entrusted their personal information to the self-destructing messaging service, only to find their names and phone numbers had been leaked and made searchable on a well-meaning, creepy-looking website. It outraged tech reporters, who lambasted the company for its unapologetic response. One Wall Street Journal writer even proposed a boycott of Snapchat.

But amid the chorus of anger rose one discordantly joyful voice: Nico Sell, co-founder of Wickr and a hungry competitor to Snapchat. “We are happy to see 50 percent more growth this year since the hack,” she wrote via her own self-destructing message service. “Kabooooommmmmmmmmm!” she added. Six seconds later a fireball engulfed the message in animated flames and smoke, wiping it clean from all devices for good, she says. The future of her business depends on it.

(MORE:Snapchat Promises Security Fixes After…

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Hacker Steals All of Silk Road’s $2 Million Bitcoins


The latest incarnation of Silk Road, an illicit goods Internet marketplace that was shut down by the FBI in October, has been hacked and had all of its bitcoins stolen.

According to Defcon, a pseudonymous administrator for the site, the attacker exploited a vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol known as “transaction malleability,” and users reportedly lost bitcoins at the value of over $2 million. The same method was used in an attack on several major bitcoin exchanges earlier in the week, although no money was lost then.

Other black-market web portals have struggled to take up the role of Silk Road in the past months, with Dutch authorities recently taking down a site called Utopia.

Last week, Ross Ulbricht denied all charges of being the creator of Silk Road in a Manhattan court, and he has filed a claim on seized bitcoins valued at over $20 million.

[Business Insider

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